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Al Jazeera


Here is how Jordan escaped the Arab Spring

Image courtesy of Getty Images

The story is that Jordan has survived. Full stop. As for how and why the country emerged unscathed from the Arab Spring, there are myriad theories, variously citing the "maturity" of the Jordanian public, Western financial support, the UN's management of the influx of Syrian refugees and last but certainly not least, the kingdom's official "web masters".

 

The truth is that all of the above helped the small nation to evade the promise - or threat - of change that everyone expected would eventually come, despite resistance from within, and finally usher in the political freedoms necessary to lay down the foundations for a modern, democratic state.

 

Instead, what we got was stability. The price for that stability is the perpetuation of what can only be described as the status quo and with it, the security apparatus' firm grip on government and the preeminence of the old guard.

 

Consider this story: A young Jordanian musician, while introducing his group's next act, made a light-hearted joke about the government's mishandling of the recent snow storm in the kingdom. A security guard at the state-owned theatre took offence. An exchange of words led to a scuffle, after which the security guard called for reinforcements. The incident has now spurred a petition[Ar] calling for the resignation of the director of the theatre. For now, it seems the director of the theatre, Abdul Hadi Raji al-Majali[Ar], a well-known columnist, is going to remain in his post - basically, he'll get away with it.

 

Continue reading at www.aljazeera.com

Image courtesy of Getty Images

The price for that stability is the perpetuation of what can only be described as the status quo and with it, the security apparatus' firm grip on government and the preeminence of the old guard."